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Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada. (Facebook photo)

Strada re-elected

Incumbent wins mud-filled campaign

By Nikita Biryukov, June 04 2019 10:49 pm

Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada defeated his challenger, Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Boden, 7,415-3,484 Tuesday.

Democrats aren’t running a candidate for sheriff, so Strada’s 36-point has effectively elected him to the role.

The race has been marked by animosity and personal attacks.

Boden, who has been suspended since early march following a police psychologist’s ruling that the corrections officer needed to attend therapy to guarantee he would not harm anyone in the course of his duties, attacked alleged Strada had created a “culture of harassment and mental abuse.”

The psychologist recommended Strada seek additional treatment before

The three-term sheriff’s camp claimed Boden was disgruntled over his suspension and a shared services agreement that would result in a longer commute for the county’s corrections officers.

All employees affected by the shared services agreement were reassigned.

Boden attacked Strada over a number of incidents, including one involving an undersheriff using a county-owned generator at his home and another in which corrections officers were forced to buy gloves from a vending machine.

The race got a boost in profile after WNBC aired two segments on the race highlighting alleged abuses carried out by Erich Olsen, said to be a close ally of Strada’s, that included an incident during which Olsen performed a simulated sex act on a deputy using a T.V. remote.

Strada’s predecessor, Robert Untig, endorsed Boden, saying he’d like to see someone who was an officer within the sheriff’s office lead the agency.

Strada, who narrowly lost to the then seven-term sheriff when he mounted a primary against him in 2007, was a police detective in Mount Olive before becoming sheriff.

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